Striker wants PNE start

Jordan Hugill is hoping to get the nod to replace the suspended Joe Garner for Preston North End's Gentry Day clash with Bolton on Saturday.

Wednesday, 9th March 2016, 2:04 pm
Updated Wednesday, 9th March 2016, 3:11 pm
Jordan Hugill hopes to start for PNE against Bolton

Garner has been hit with a two-match suspension after reaching 10 bookings, and is out of the visit to the Macron Stadium and the home game with Queens Park Rangers.

Lilywhites manager Simon Grayson gave Hugill the whole of the second half against Nottingham Forest to press his claim for a start.

Hugill replaced Garner at the interval in Tuesday night’s game after the striker had been yellow-carded in the 38th minute.

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Callum Robinson also came on as a half-time sub, with Eoin Doyle joining the action later in the second half.

Like Hugill, they are options to replace Garner at the weekend.

“I would like to think I did enough against Forest to play at Bolton,” Hugill told the Evening Post.

“While on as a sub, I got into the box, dealt with crosses, my hold-up play was good and I almost scored.

“Hopefully that has given the manager food for thought for the next game.

“Joe had been on nine yellow cards for a while and he went quite a while without being booked.

“He will be gutted to miss the next two games but it gives someone else a chance.

“Hopefully I will be able to fill that space because I thought I did okay at Forest.”

Hugill was denied a first league goal in Preston colours by a superb save from Forest goalkeeper Dorus De Vries.

The 23-year-old front man met a Calum Woods cross with a header which De Vries dived to get a hand to and push away.

Later, the keeper made a good save from Adam Reach as North End searched in vain for an equaliser after Nelson Oliveria’s first-half goal for the home side.

Said Hugill: “I don’t know how their keeper managed to dive across and save it.

“I could not have done much else, Calum put a great cross in and I got a lot on it.

“It was a brilliant save to be fair to him, I was about to wheel away and celebrate.

“The keeper made another good save after that to stop one from Adam Reach which was going for the top corner.

“Once Forest scored their goal, we were on top for the rest of the game.

“The fact their keeper got man of the match tells you something about the game.

“We will recover from the Forest defeat and get ready to play Bolton.

“It should be a brilliant atmosphere because we are taking more than 4,000 fans.”

Whoever gets the nod to play instead of Garner, the service to them will have to be better than it was at times at Forest.

Although possession was a 50/50 share, North End did not make the most of their time with the ball – something the manager acknowledged.

Grayson said: “We have a really honest bunch of lads who at times lack that real top quality which the top teams in this division have.

“That type of player costs a lot of money and as a club, we are building as we go along.

“The lads give everything, they try and make the right pass but sometimes it is not the right decision or quality to win a game. At times at Forest, we needed a bit more quality with the final ball and pass.”